NEW MOON - Feb. 16-23

(March 21 to April 19)

Venus and Mars arrive triumphantly in your sign for what is going to be one of the most intense and interesting periods of this year. At work there are still highs and lows, but now is the time to get involved without ifs and buts. In love, it's impossible to ignore the conspiracies of the heart, as this weekend will bring a meeting that takes your breath away. Couples strengthen their intents, but those who doubt are ready to turn a page — perhaps with a secret relationship.

TEMPO: vivace trionfando

(April 20 to May 20)

Recently you haven't felt heard or appreciated for your efforts at work. Considering changing collaborations, business or associates isn't necessarily a bad thing. From this week on, thoughts will start to change into action: New opportunities will arise for a more solid and stable future. In love, couples look for economic support to fulfill a dream. Singles are socialites: Bet everything on a Pisces or Virgo.

TEMPO: andante allargando

(May 21 to June 21)

Your touchiness in recent weeks has put a strain on your relationship. A change at work, for example, a transfer, has often been discussed, sometimes to the point of upsetting the status quo of your couple. From this weekend on — if you haven't dealt a knockout blow to your relationship — you can go back to talking about it. Lonely hearts can also go back to falling in love, especially part-time. At work, the first glimmers of new opportunities appear.

TEMPO: andantino incalzando

(June 22 to July 22)

This New Moon shows you what's in store for you in the future, with some encouraging news or changes prospects in both work and love around Feb. 18-19. But despite these long-term goals, from the weekend on a period of doubt begins, involving a lot of re-thinking and fatigue. There are external factors that will make your path harder and discourage you to take the leap. Patience will be rewarded.

TEMPO: allegretto rallentando

(July 23 to August 22)

Finally, this week will see the long-awaited transformation of Leo. No more complaints, just action: Look at your goals "objectively" and dash toward the new. There will be a harvest of good deals and resolutions both at work and home — but it all depends on how you sow. Accept even the smallest of imperfections. Those in new relationships should think again, especially on Feb. 21 and 22.

TEMPO: presto appassionato

(August 23 to September 22)

Despite the opposition of this New Moon, it's a good time to begin collaborations, partnerships, or new ventures. Sure, everything is difficult — and Feb. 19 is definitely a day you should keep an eye on. Even in love, the heart goes into a period of review. It all depends on how much you have argued, but for some there is the possibility of a breakup. Spring brings new things, especially to singles who are now coming out of hibernation.

TEMPO: lento animato

(September 23 to October 23)

A period of great professional commitments and challenges is beginning. Many of you have already been offered new proposals or positions in work. Your finances and career have to grow and you shouldn't to be snobby about it. Watch out for some economic discontent that may be already rising this weekend. Even in love, commitments are becoming distant, or someone is driving you crazy. What do you want to do?

TEMPO: marcia indemoniata

(October 24 to November 20)

It's a testing period for new couples. Do you go on in this relationship or let it go and make way for new, unexpected and interesting meetings that the New Moon on Feb. 19 brings? Mind you, the stellar situation doesn't lead to anything official or concrete. Not now. Work takes on a busier schedule, but in an environment of strength and recovery.

TEMPO: allegro moderato

(November 21 to December 22)

It must be said: This New Moon falls into an annoying quadrature which can bring about thoughts relating to the home or family. But thanks to the positive thrusts of other planets, there is also the right grit to help you face some mishap without putting brakes in your way. Similarly, even affections need clarification. A critical day is Feb. 19, but by the weekend both dialogue and a solution will come easily. It's the same mood at work: discussion — then looking for a deal.

TEMPO: adagio risolvendo

(December 23 to January 20)

This week, there are two important days for work: Monday can bring confirmations or recognition that get you ahead in a project or new assignment; Thursday is special for agreements, short trips or transfer requests. There is an opportunity for dialogue and clarification, especially with a family member with whom relations have recently cooled. I suggest you do it now, because by the weekend your enthusiasm may lessen. In love, you'll notice a lack of interest or even distance from your partner.

TEMPO: vivace rallentando

(January 21 to February 21)

Jupiter stays in its opposition, but this week there will be opportunities for a raise or a better position. Thoughts become clear again: Objectives are more straightforward, actions more focused and planned. There is a desire to optimize efforts and get rid of things that are a waste of energy — in some cases, getting rid of a partnership that isn't fruitful. There's always some time for love, but singles will be more excited from the weekend on. Passions are fleeting with Leo or Scorpio.

TEMPO: allegretto brillante

(February 22 to March 20)

This New Moon is beautiful in your sign. I would call it a "wild card" — but still, exercise extreme caution! The days around Feb. 19 are determining, both at work and in love. A transfer, a reconciliation, a meeting, or an important project: You will get to make decisions that will affect the next few months. Tiredness persists, even at the mere thought of what's waiting for you, but you should concentrate on your goal.

TEMPO: allegrissimo eroico

Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
food / travel

The True Horrors Behind 7 Haunted Locations Around The World

With Halloween arriving, we have dug up the would-be ghosts of documented evil and bloodshed from the past.

Inside Poveglia Island's abandoned asylum

Laure Gautherin and Carl-Johan Karlsson

When Hallows Eve was first introduced as a Celtic festival some 2,000 years ago, bonfires and costumes were seen as a legitimate way to ward off ghosts and evil spirits. Today of course, with science and logic being real ghostbusters, spine-chilling tales of haunted forests, abandoned asylums and deserted graveyards have rather become a way to add some mystery and suspense to our lives.

And yet there are still spooky places around the world that have something more than legend attached to them. From Spain to Uzbekistan and Australia, these locations prove that haunting lore is sometimes rooted in very real, and often terrible events.

Shahr-e Gholghola, City of Screams - Afghanistan

photo of  ruins of Shahr-e Gholghola,

The ruins of Shahr-e Gholghola, the City of Screams, in Afghanistan

Dai He/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire

According to locals, ghosts from this ancient royal citadel located in the Valley of Bamyan, 150 miles northwest of Kabul, have been screaming for 800 years. You can hear them from miles away, at twilight, when they relive their massacre.

In the spring 1221, the fortress built by Buddhist Ghorids in the 6th century became the theater of the final battle between Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu, last ruler of the Khwarezmian Empire, and the Mongol Horde led by Genghis Khan. It is said that Khan's beloved grandson, Mutakhan, had been killed on his mission to sack Bamyan. To avenge him, the Mongol leader went himself and ordered to kill every living creature in the city, children included.

The ruins today bear the name of Shahr-e Gholghola, meaning City of Screams or City of Sorrows. The archeological site, rich in Afghan history, is open to the public and though its remaining walls stay quiet during the day, locals say that the night brings the echoes of fear and agony. Others claim the place comes back to life eight centuries ago, and one can hear the bustle of the city and people calling each other.

Gettysburg, Civil War battlefield - U.S.

photo of rocks and trees in Gettysburg

View of the battlefields from Little Round Top, Gettysburg, PA, USA


Even ghosts non-believers agree there is something eerie about Gettysbury. The city in the state of Pennsylvania is now one of the most popular destinations in the U.S. for spirits and paranormal activities sight-seeing; and many visitors report they witness exactly what they came for: sounds of drums and gunshots, spooky encounters and camera malfunctions in one specific spot… just to name a few!

The Battle of Gettysburg, for which President Abraham Lincoln wrote his best known public address, is considered a turning point in the Civil War that led to the Union's victory. It lasted three days, from July 1st to July 3rd, 1863, but it accounts for the worst casualties of the entire conflict, with 23,000 on the Union side (3,100 men killed) and 28,000 for the Confederates (including 3,900 deaths). Thousands of soldiers were buried on the battlefield in mass graves - without proper rites, legend says - before being relocated to the National Military Park Cemetery for the Unionists.

Since then, legend has it, their restless souls wander, unaware the war has ended. You can find them everywhere, on the battlefield or in the town's preserved Inns and hotels turned into field hospitals back then.

Belchite, Civil War massacre - Spain

photo of sunset of old Belchite

Old Belchite, Spain

Belchite Town Council

Shy lost souls wandering and briefly appearing in front of visitors, unexplainable forces attracting some to specific places of the town, recorded noises of planes, gunshots and bombs, like forever echoes of a drama which left an open wound in Spanish history…

That wound, still unhealed, is the Spanish Civil War; and at its height in 1937, Belchite village, located in the Zaragoza Province in the northeast of Spain, represented a strategic objective of the Republican forces to take over the nearby capital city of Zaragoza.

Instead of being a simple step in their operation, it became the field of an intense battle opposing the loyalist army and that of General Francisco Franco's. Between August 24 and September 6, more than 5,000 people were killed, including half of Belchite's population. The town was left in rubble. As a way to illustrate the Republicans' violence, Franco decided to leave the old town in ruins and build a new Belchite nearby. All the survivors were relocated there, but they had to wait 15 years for it to be complete.

If nothing particular happens in new Belchite, home to around 1,500 residents, the remains of old Belchite offer their share of chilling ghost stories. Some visitors say they felt a presence, someone watching them, sudden change of temperatures and strange sounds. The ruins of the old village have been used as a film set for Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen - with the crew reporting the apparition of two women dressed in period costumes - and Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth. And in October 1986, members of the television program "Cuarta Dimensión" (the 4th dimension) spent a night in Belchite and came back with some spooky recordings of war sounds.

Gur Emir, a conquerer’s mausoleum - Uzbekistan

photo of Gur Emir (Tomb of Timur) i

Gur Emir (Tomb of Timur) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Chris Bradley/Design Pics via ZUMA Wire

The news echoed through the streets and bazaars of Samarkand: "The Russian expedition will open the tomb of Tamerlane the Great. It will be our curse!" It was June 1941, and a small team of Soviet researchers began excavations in the Gur-Emir mausoleum in southeastern Uzbekistan.

The aim was to prove that the remains in the tomb did in fact belong to Tamerlane — the infamous 14th-century conqueror and first ruler of the Timurid dynasty who some historians say massacred 1% of the world's population in 1360.

Still, on June 20, despite protests from local residents and Muslim clergy, Tamerlame's tomb was cracked open — marked with the inscription: "When I Rise From the Dead, The World Shall Tremble."

Only two days later, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union, with the people of Samarkand linking it to the disturbing of Tamerlane's peace. Amid local protests, the excavation was immediately wrapped up and the remains of the Turkish/Mongol conqueror were sent to Moscow. The turning point in the war came with the victory in the Battle of Stalingrad — only a month after a superstitious Stalin ordered the return of Tamerlane's remains to Samarkand where the former emperor was re-buried with full honors.

Gamla Stan, a royal massacre - Sweden

a photo of The red house of Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden

The red house of Gamla Stan, Stockholm, Sweden


After Danish King Kristian II successfully invaded Sweden and was anointed King in November 1520, the new ruler called Swedish leaders to join for festivities at the royal palace in Stockholm. At dusk, after three days of wine, beer and spectacles, Danish soldiers carrying lanterns and torches entered the great hall and imprisoned the gathered nobles who were considered potential opponents of the Danish king. In the days that followed, 92 people were swiftly sentenced to death, and either hanged or beheaded on Stortorget, the main square in Gamla Stan (Old Town).

Until this day, the Stockholm Bloodbath is considered one of the most brutal events in Scandinavian history, and some people have reported visions of blood flowing across the cobblestoned square in early November. A little over a century later, a red house on the square was rebuilt as a monument for the executed — fitted with 92 white stones for each slain man. Legend has it that should one of the stones be removed, the ghost of the represented will rise from the dead and haunt the streets of Stockholm for all eternity.

Port Arthur, gruesome prison - Australia

a photo of ort Arthur Prison Settlement, Tasmania, Australia

Port Arthur Prison Settlement, Tasmania, Australia

Flickr/Eli Duke

During its 47-year history as a penal settlement, Port Arthur in southern Tasmania earned a reputation as one of the most notorious prisons in the British Empire. The institution — known for a brutal slavery system and punishment of the most hardened criminals sent from the motherland— claimed the lives of more than 1,000 inmates until its closure in 1877.

Since then, documented stories have spanned the paranormal gamut: poltergeist prisoners terrorizing visitors, weeping children roaming the port and tourists running into a weeping 'lady in blue' (apparently the spirit of a woman who died in childbirth). The museum even has an 'incidence form' ready for anyone wanting to report an otherworldly event.

Poveglia Island, plague victims - Italy

a photo of Poveglia Island, Italy

Poveglia Island, Italy

Mirco Toniolo/ROPI via ZUMA Press

Located off the coast of Venice and Lido, Poveglia sadly reunites all the classical elements of a horror movie: plagues, mass burial ground and mental institute (from the 1920's).

During the bubonic plague and other subsequent pandemics, the island served as a quarantine station for the sick and anyone showing any signs of what could be Black Death contamination. Some 160,000 victims are thought to have died there and the seven acres of land became a mass burial ground so full that it is said that human ash makes up more than 50% of Poveglia's soil.

In 1922 a retirement home for the elderly — used as a clandestine mental institution— opened on the island and with it a fair amount of rumors involving torture of patients. The hospital and consequently the whole island was closed in 1968, leaving all the dead trapped off-land.

Poveglia's terrifying past earned it the nickname of 'Island of Ghosts'. Despite being strictly off-limits to visitors, the site has been attracting paranormal activity hunters looking for the apparition of lost and angry souls. The island would be so evil that some locals say that when an evil person dies, he wakes up in Poveglia, another kind of hell.

Keep up with the world. Break out of the bubble.
Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!